Netflix has been on a bit of a home run recently following the success of The Stranger and Locke and Key, and the streaming giant is now wading into the period drama territory with this true-life CJ Walker biopic – the story of a “trailblazing African American haircare entrepreneur who was America’s first female self-made millionaire.”
Here’s everything you need to know:
What is Self Made released?
Self Made will premiere on Netflix on Friday 20th March 2020. You can read the biography here before the Netflix release.
Is there a trailer for Self Made?
Yes – it’s rather uplifting and full of stunning period costumes:
Who is in the cast of Self Made?
Octavia Spencer, best known for her award-winning work in Hidden Figures and The Help, will play the lead role of African-American entrepreneur Madam CJ Walker as well as executive producing the show.
The Lego Movie 2 star Tiffany Haddish is also on board as Walker’s daughter Leila, while True Detective’s Carmen Ejogo portrays business rival Addie Munroe.
The show also boasts Blair Underwood as husband Charles James Walker, Garret Morris as father-in-law Cleophus, Kevin Carroll as lawyer friend Freeman Ransom and Bill Bellamy as Ransom’s cousin Sweetness.
What is Self Made about?
The long-titled ‘Self Made: Inspired By the Life of Madam CJ Walker’ tells the true story of Walker, an African-American laundress who went on to become America’s first female self-made millionaire.
The show will chart how Walker had to overcome the racial and gender biases of turn-of-the-century America, personal betrayals, business rivalries and her own marriage and family issues to launch her own haircare brand. Her business not only revolutionised black haircare and made her the wealthiest self-made woman in America, but also allowed her to fight for social change and donate generously to charity.
The trailer also seems to hint at some elaborate dance sequences, suggesting we might see some Dickinson-esque fantasy scenes slotted into the period drama.
Is Self Made based on a book?
Yes – Self Made is an adaptation of On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C. J. Walker, a biography of the African-American entrepreneur which was rather fittingly written by Walker’s very own great-great-granddaughter A’Lelia Bundle. The book won the Association of Black Women Historians Letitia Woods Brown Prize and was named one of the New York Times notable books of the year. The audiobook is also available here.
How can I watch Self Made?
All four episodes of Self Made will be available on Netflix in the UK and internationally.
Will there be a second season of Self Made?
Probably not – Netflix has been marketing Self Made as a limited series, suggesting we’ll see Walker make her millions by the time the four episodes are up.